The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

At first, Rains didn’t know how to approach the part, it seemed from the script to be just another standard costume villain without much depth. He told the press that he had a major epiphany when he learned the part would include an eye-catching red wig and beard. He later told his daughter privately that all the henna, ermine, and brocade gave him a cue to play the prince as “tacitly homosexual”. Roddy McDowall was always convinced that Rains based his performance on the stylized voice and mannerims of another Warners contract performer, Bette Davis. McDowall, in fact, asked Rains years later if this was the case, but Rains’s only answer was an enigmatic smile.